src=""> The Hiring Insider: Retained Search vs. Contingent Search

The Hiring Insider

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Retained Search vs. Contingent Search

I spoke to a VP of Human Resources for a large company last week who had signed on 15 contingent recruiting firms to assist his in-house recruiters to fill quite frankly, a lot of new jobs.

He was becoming frustrated because of the amount of time updating all of these firms was beginning to take. On top of that, many of the firms were overlapping with one another and beginning to submit the same candidates. How is this helping the organization that hired on these firms? I don't think it is. When trying to decide whether to go to a retained search firm or a contingent have to think of many things - especially the value of your time. Many firms offer a hybrid approach - we call them engagement fees. You put a deposit down and pay the balance upon the new hire being made. Our firm charges for example, a modest $295 down and it's applicable toward the total search fee upon placement.

Why do we do this? We do it primarily to get your attention, to engage you in this process which goes very well provided there aren't 15 other firms involved. I understand the need to work with more than one firm in the event we're talking about filling multiple positions. And some firms specialize in different areas as well. But in selecting search firms, remember to work with those recruiters who work well independently - provide good updates and don't need to talk with you every day for a status update unless there is a need to do so.

By the way, as recruiters, it's our job to find out where our candidates are interviewing and where they've been submitted whether we are retained or contingent. It wastes an awful lot of time (worth money!) when we don't do our jobs well.....and it doesn't help you, the hiring managers in the least. If this is happening to you - it might be time to talk with your recruiters or account managers.

Have a question? Just ask...


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